New varsity football head coach Joe Sindoni leads team practice last Thursday, Aug. 23, at the high school football field.
continued At times, Skaneateles lines up with four or five wide receivers. Jake Cooney, who caught nearly 40 passes a season ago, returns to lead a group that also includes fellow seniors Steve Bright and Max Dwyer. Junior Colin Jones and sophomore Connor Hill, up from the JV ranks, add further depth.
Like Herr, Max Weiss started as a sophomore at running back in 2010, only to cede some of his duties to Malik Merritt in 2011. With Merritt gone, Weiss starts again full-time.
They all benefit from an offensive line that, along with Herr, made a concerted effort in the off-season to bulk up, taking full advantage of the much-improved weight and conditioning program at Skaneateles.
For example, guards Sepp Martens (260 pounds) and Cooper Pitman (225) both gained 20 pounds, while new tackle Nate Molnar went from 180 to 205 pounds. Center Nick Lee didn’t change much, but he was already at 280 pounds, and tackle Luke Drancsak checks in at 210 pounds, giving the Lakers serious bulk across its entire front.
From a base 4-3 defense run by new coordinator Tim Lee (like Tim Brown, a CBA graduate who played under Sindoni when they were with the Brothers), Pitman, Lee and Martin fit into the end rotation, while sophomore Jake Sherman and junior Zack Schneider start at end.
One consequence of Herr’s ACL tear, said Sindoni, is an understandable caution to limit his time at linebacker, where he was a particular standout each of the last two seasons. Drancsak, also a three-year starter, anchors the current unit, flanked by Molnar and another new face, Gunnar Beck-Andersen.
Depending on the play, Bright could line up at linebacker or safety. Sindoni said he wants a lot of rotation in the secondary to keep players that go both ways fresh, so any combination of Bright, Dwyer, Weiss, Cooney, Jones and Cullen Newland could defend passes.